How to be stylish

Here are three fashion handbooks every gentleman should read

In a time when men’s fashion has taken on many faces and gone through a number of evolutions it is necessary to keep up with what’s happening globally and, more importantly, to understand the origins of menswear, its present and its future. Here are three fashion handbooks that will help any gentleman who wants to be stylish and increase their fashion knowledge. 

1.       Men and Style: Essays, Interviews and Considerations by David Coggins

David Coggins is a New York-based journalist and author. He has written for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Esquire and Bloomberg Pursuits. While he may not exclusively be a fashion writer, The Wall Street Journal lauds his book, saying that it “functions like a chat with an old friend over a drink, tucking advice into personal, often nostalgic stories”.

The book, which also contains interviews with fashion tastemakers and writers such as Poggy and Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean, is well-researched and insightful.

2.       Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style by Shantrelle P Lewis

Shantrelle Lewis offers a fashion history lesson and traces African Dandyism to its roots. The book features popular figures in African fashion history, such as the Sapeurs of Brazzaville, Congo, and the Swenkas of South Africa. She also discusses modern style icons such as The Sartists (SA), Street Etiquette (USA), Khumbula (SA) and Art Comes First (USA).

This book explores the impact that historical and political events have had on African fashion in general. 

3.       ABC of Men’s Fashion by Sir Hardy Amies

The book, which was originally published in 1964, serves as a gentlemen’s fashion dictionary. The book’s glossary is comprehensive and includes details about menswear detailing, fabrication and finishing, making it a go-to guide for fashion novices and scholars alike.

When buying clothing, you will need to understand the different cuts, styles, and fabrics in order to mix and match accessories and items appropriately. This book will ably guide you.